Who Killed the Electric Car?


Our last post shared GM's latest announcement - where they've stated that the internal combustion engine must be consigned to history. GM are promising full electrification of their cars over the coming decade, but it's kind of odd that the time-frame is put so far into the future, when a well regarded electric car (the EV-1) has already been tested and loved by hundreds of lease-holders in California. That is, up until leases were ended by GM and the cars were inexplicably crushed.

Simultaneously, GM are pushing hydrogen cars as the holy grail of the automotive industry, when many believe a realisable hydrogen system is decades away, if ever, and that even if it does make it to market, the electric car would still trump hydrogen in terms of energy, environmental and financial savings.

In this context, the documentary above may be of interest to some of you. It must be said that there has been some controversy over a perceived bias against GM by the producers. Toyota heads, who received only cursory attention in the program, came out and defended their competitor, stating it was lack of demand and major costs that killed the electric car - not lack of trying.

The documentary, however, is pretty convincing in its conclusions. Either way, GM and other auto-manufacturers must be treated with suspicion when they promise a green future, whilst simultaneously battling legislation that would dictate increased fuel efficiency for their current lineup.

It seems that unless forced to, industry will continue to place their own immediate gain before any present and future social and environmental improvements. But then, it's a rare thing indeed to see it any other way.


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  • Posted on June 17, 2007. Listed in:

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